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What an ambitious income generation strategy ACTUALLY looks like

Hands up if you’ve ever heard charities talking about having:   “an ambitious income generation strategy” “an innovative and diverse fundraising portfolio” “forward thinking, donor focused supporter journeys”   And then continuing to do everything exactly the same?   Short term Organisation centric copy Same old, same old…   Modern fundraising is problematic because it is vulnerable to (amongst other things):   economic events, (which impact people’s ability to give) competition government decisions around support for core services.   Budgets tend to be decided once […]

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piles of pound coins

Charities and profit first

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about charities and profit first (I’ll explain what I mean by that later), sustainability and the pressure which has been placed on fundraisers during the past year.   When income no longer matches expenditure, how should charities react?   By forcing an unachievable target on their fundraisers?   Or by adjusting expenditure?   I have just finished work on a 13-month project to help Rowcroft Hospice start to fund an endowment through philanthropy (next week I’ll share more about […]

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child hiding behind their hands

Business planning and avoidance tactics

Most charities I’ve worked with over the past year on the topic of business planning (amongst other things) have asked pretty much the same question, “What should we be doing right now?” Nobody really has all the answers to this, but…   Whatever your ‘silly season’ is, I can guarantee you’ll be in the midst of it thinking “I wish I’d planned better for this during the quieter times”.   I think for many of us, now has unexpectedly become that quieter time. One of […]

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tree frog

Night owls, productivity (and why Tony doesn’t eat frogs)

This post is written by our resident night owl, Tony….   I’m sure I’m not the only night owl frustrated by all the gurus telling me about being productive. I like you Tim Ferriss.  But making my bed first thing doesn’t put me in the mindset that I’m achieving things early on.  It’s flicking a duvet, not running a half marathon. Brian Tracy is going to tell you to Eat the Frog, and I get it,  but my lovely morning lark will tell you that […]

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Money from nothing, a commercial test on a shoestring

From traditional sources of fundraising, making money from nothing is extremely difficult. Community fundraising is possible with committed volunteers.  High value fundraising often requires technical expertise which more often than not, has to be paid for.  Events are great for kicking off long term relationships with new supporters (but generate a low ROI in the short term).  Corporate budgets are squeezes and are looking for relationships which will help them to build their own brands and attract new customers of their own. Across the board, […]

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Charity and profit – is there a dirtier word?

In the charity sector, is there a dirtier word than profit? Most of us are experiencing a shift in fundraising; funders are less interested in throwing cash into an organisational black hole.  They want to know what you’re doing to make yourself financially sustainable.  They want to fund the stepping-stones to your financial success. From my experience the biggest hurdle to making a charity commercially profitable or financially sustainable is not the funds for initial set-up, space, restrictions within a heritage building or a suitable […]

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